LIVE: Lucy Dacus - Edinburgh International Festival, Leith Theatre, 25/08/2022 1

LIVE: Lucy Dacus – Edinburgh International Festival, Leith Theatre, 25/08/2022

For the fourth time this week, your humble scribe is at Leith Theatre (‘Not bad for someone the wrong side of forty!‘ – sniggering Ed.) Perhaps I’ll take up squatters’ rights? Tonight is a packed, sold out show, and while the Edinburgh Festivals (definitely plural) may be coming to a close, this is the start of a forty date tour for Lucy Dacus that will finish in Santiago, Chile, just before Christmas.

…and on the evidence of tonight’s set, those who have tickets between here and South America have a great deal to look forward to. Having released her third album Home Video last year, the American singer-songwriter starts her set with that album’s closer ‘Triple Dog Dare.’ A track that starts slowly and gradually reaches a crescendo seven minutes later might be difficult for some crowds to grasp for an opener, but it’s warmly received. While she may not yet be a household name in this country, she’s absolutely adored by this audience even before the get-go.

It’s a set that largely draws from her three albums so far, mostly the latest album. Listening to huge sections of the crowd singing along for so much of this gig – even on a song like the heartbreaking ‘Thumbs’ – it’s clear so many know all the words. She makes reference to her last gig in Edinburgh being at the much smaller Voodoo Rooms – deservedly, she will soon be playing much bigger venues. Hopefully with this band who are fantastic, and don’t simply replicate the sound of the albums.

LucyDacus © JShurte 73
Lucy Dacus at the Leith Theatre, Edinburgh

The set doesn’t dip; in fact, she gets further into her stride as it progresses. Perhaps my highlight is ‘Going Going Gone.’ No, it’s ‘I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore.‘ Or could it be recent single ‘Kissing Lessons?‘ All examples of just how very good she is. Then she plays a song that she didn’t write, one that seems strangely familiar lyrically and vocally yet completely Lucy Dacus. “No matter how hard I try, you keep pushing me aside…” yes, it’s Believe. The Cher song that topped the charts for weeks in the late 1990s. I’m not sure how many of the crowd were even born when that song came out, but it doesn’t matter when Dacus totally makes it her own. (There’s versions on YouTube; hopefully she will record it herself sometime.)

The set finishes with ‘Nightshift;’ a rockier version than on record, that reminds me slightly of Courtney Barnett. She gives us one solo encore, just her and an acoustic that she tells us anyone who records will be dead to her (said with her great sense of humour). Then it’s out into the night, to play those albums again.

No sleep ’til Santiago.

Photo credit: JShurte

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.